January 5, 2017 — After a trademark application is filed in Nigeria, it must go through several stages of review before it can be registered and the applicant issued a certificate of registration. Below are some of the stages involved in trademark registration in Nigeria:
Step 1: Trademark Application – If the application is filed by an online accredited agent, filing the trademark application could take a matter of minutes. Typically, the trademark agent will need the name of the mark, applicant’s name and address, logo (if any), and a completed Form 1 (Power of Attorney) authorizing the agent to file the application on behalf of the trademark owner.
Step 2: Verification or Examination Office– Between 2 to 6 months from the date of the application, the status of the trademark application should read “…the application is at the Verification Office”. What this means is that the Trademark Registry in Abuja will review the application and issue either an Acceptance Form or a Refusal Slip. The accredited agent will have the option of downloading and printing the forms issued by the Registry in response to the application.
If an Acceptance Form is issued, the trademark application status will be updated to read “…currently at the Opposition Office”. If the trademark application is not successful, the registry will issue a refusal slip and the online status will read “…currently at the Acceptance Office”.
Step 3: Advertisement or Publication – Depending on the Registry’s backlog, it could take anywhere between 12-48 months for a trademark that has been accepted to be advertised in the Trademarks Journal or Gazette. The idea behind the advertisement is to alert the public that the mark is in process of registration. The effect is that interested persons may submit oppositions to the registration.
Step 4: Opposition – Within 2 months of a mark being advertised, any concerned party may oppose registration of the mark. If no one opposes the mark, it moves to Step 5 below.
Step 5: Application for Certificate of Registration – If there is no opposition or objection to the registration of the trademark, the applicant will be required to pay a separate fee in order to apply for the registration certificate.
Step 6: Issuance of Certificate of Registration: Depending on each case, it may take another 6 months for the certificate to be issued and for the trademark registration process to be completed.
For more information on how to file trademarks in Nigeria, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is intended to provide general information about the subject matter. Professional legal advice should be sought about specific circumstances.